Immediate action being taken to aid in recovery process
January 3, 2014
Immediate action being taken to aid in recovery process

As an immediate response to last week’s Christmas disaster, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has taken measures to ensure that the immediate needs of persons affected by the rains and flooding are met.{{more}}

“This morning I instructed the director of planning to have transferred from a World Bank project, one million US dollars to this particular effort. Similarly, I indicated to her to have transferred two million dollars from the Banana Accompanying Measures monies and I’m going to direct the reallocation of monies to address this immediate question,” Gonsalves said on Monday, at the handover of the terminal building at Argyle.

“I can’t wait on the World Bank, I can’t wait on the EU, I can’t wait on the CDB (Caribbean Development Bank), because proceeds from Tomas, from the April floods in 2011, we are now beginning to spend those monies. I can’t wait two years and three years, we have to do something in more creative ways.”

The Prime Minister indicated that US$200,000 would be donated to the Government by the Republic of China, and that the government has already received one million dollars from the government of St Kitts and Nevis, and another $750,000 will be immediately released from the Caribbean Development Bank.

He thanked the governments in the region that have offered solidarity following the disaster, and those who have already given tangible support.

“The Government of Trinidad and Tobago, for instance, the Prime Minister, sent a very special envoy, Rear Admiral Kelshall, whose mom was actually born in Kingstown…. A vessel is here already with food and other supplies; the helicopter assisted in dropping water and food on two occasions in Fancy.”

The Prime Minister also called on individuals, groups and other organizations to play a role in easing the suffering of those who were affected by the storm.

“We can’t praise the Lord, whom we do not see and love him and not love our neighbour whom we see every day. We can’t go to church and sing Blessed Assurance, but not giving an assurance in practical terms to our neighbour…. We have the people’s work to do and the Lord’s work to accomplish.

“I have been reflecting on what have happened… when you have a disaster like the one in 2010, when you add the April 2011 flood, and this one bigger than both of them, on top of what has happened with the World Trade Organization, and the challenges to our preferential market for bananas in the UK, and CLICO and BAICO, and the world economic crisis which is continuing, I know that a lot of our people feel weary, they feel tired, but you can’t give up; we have to renew ourselves like eagles, we have to hold each other’s hand in partnership, hold each other in going forward. We have weathered difficulties in the past and have emerged triumphant. We will do so again with God’s blessings.”(JJ)